Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 08, 2004

Public support for treatment is key to revival

Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems is encouraged by The Sun's editorial supporting the revision of the city zoning code ("Good neighbors," Aug. 2). The proposed laws would eliminate illegal, discriminatory practices and allow drug treatment programs to locate in areas where they are desperately needed.

Citizen support of drug treatment is critical to the revitalization of Baltimore.

When treatment is readily available, the cost of crime, health care and social programs decreases dramatically. Numerous studies show that in Baltimore, drug treatment is working for those who can get access to it.

Yet the unmet need for treatment remains immense. Sixty percent of citizens requesting treatment are turned away each year because of the lack of available public treatment facilities.

Many citizens recognize and embrace drug treatment as an essential component of a healthy community. And to receive public funding, all public treatment programs must work with their communities.

Indeed, many treatment programs rely on this community involvement to draft practices that support both recovering persons and the neighborhoods where they are located.

Bonnie L. Cypull

Dr. Peter L. Beilenson

Baltimore

The writers are, respectively, the president of Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems and the city health commissioner.

Group homes in city burden neighbors

The Sun's editorial "Good neighbors" (Aug. 2) was timely. I have just spent several weeks filing complaints with various city agencies on behalf of several neighbors in Greektown who were more than a little concerned that overnight, without notice, a single-family rowhouse became overcrowded living quarters for adult males.

The editorial explained everything: The rights of these "disabled" men, whose criminal backgrounds are unknown and who have absolutely no ties to the community, seem to supersede those of long-term, taxpaying homeowners.

Hats off to the O'Malley administration for contributing to the declining quality of life and plummeting property values that cause law-abiding taxpayers to flee from the city.

Charlotte Eliopoulos

Baltimore

Impolite to put feet on public benches

I applaud Officer Charles Megibow for telling Willie Antonio Flowers to remove his feet from a park bench ("Official's spouse arrested for having feet on bench," Aug. 4).

Although the subsequent arrest of Mr. Flowers was an overreaction on the part of the police, he would not have been arrested if he had been sitting on the park bench correctly or had followed the officer's instructions to remove his work boots from the seat.

It amazes me how many people uncaringly place their feet on public benches, thus dirtying the sitting surface for others who use the benches in the correct manner.

I hope Mr. Flowers' wife, who is city recreation and parks director, will chastise her husband and others who thoughtlessly place their feet on public benches.

Apparently, Mr. Flowers and others like him were not listening when their parents said, "Don't put your feet on the furniture."

Joseph M. Koper

Hunt Valley

Election of Ehrlich was a vote for slots

When is KAL going to get his head out of the sand?

His Aug. 4 cartoon showed House Speaker Michael E. Busch saying to the governor that, "I humbly suggest we give our good citizens a vote on this important matter" -- slot machines.

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. ran for the office saying he was in favor of slots as an alternative to raising taxes. This heavily Democratic state elected him.

It would seem to me that "our good citizens" have already voted.

Charles M. Corbett

Pikesville

Attacks won't come where we expect

Those who find comfort in images of police patrolling our streets in body armor carrying automatic rifles, commercial vehicles being stopped for security checks and citizens lined up by the hundreds to be searched are not looking at the threat of terror realistically ("`Very specific' terror threats to N.Y., D.C.," Aug. 2).

As despicable as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were, they gave us no reason to underestimate those who planned and executed them.

Trumpeting to the world that we have "specific information" about where the next attacks are going to come and turning those sites into armed fortresses is a complete waste of time and effort. If, indeed, al-Qaida plans further attacks, you can bet your last dollar they will not come where we think they are going to come.

Those buildings we've named in New York and Washington and our passenger liners and airports are certainly among the safest places to be. If another attack comes, it will happen where we least expect it -- not where we are most prepared.

God willing, such an attack will never happen. But until we regard our enemies with a greater degree of respect and practice security with a lot more stealth and lot less show, we will be making further attacks more, not less, likely.

Joe Roman

Baltimore

Our homeland still is far from secure

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